Radical League

Azure, billetty Or a lion with a coronet Or armed and langued Gules holding in his dexter paw a sword Argent hilted Or and in the sinister paw seven arrows Argent pointed and bound together Or. [The seven arrows stand for the seven provinces of the Union of Utrecht.] The shield is crowned with the (Dutch) royal crown and supported by two lions Or armed and langued gules. They stand on a scroll Azure with the text (Or) "Je Maintiendrai" (French for "I will maintain".)
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The Radical League (in Dutch: Radicale Bond) was a Dutch progressive liberal political party. The league is historically linked with the PvdA.

Party history

In November 1892 one of the Amsterdam caucuses of the Liberal Union seceded from the party and formed the Radical League. The caucus was called "Amsterdam". The debate in the Liberal Union about the extension of suffrage was not moving in the direction of the Radicals. They were led by the charismatic, solistic politician Willem Treub. He set up a national organization.

In 1893 the party won the Leeuwarden seat in a by-election. The newly MP was former Amsterdam alderman C.V. Gerritsen, who was also the husband of feminist Aletta Jacobs. In 1894 the party won two additional seats. They played a minor role in parliament. In 1897 they won an additional seat. The Radicals supported the progressive liberal cabinet led by Pierson, although they were not necessary for its majority. In 1901 the League merged with another group of progressive former Liberal Union members to form the Free-thinking Democratic League.

Ideology & issues

The League was a progressive liberal and radical democratic party, committed to implementation of universal suffrage and social laws. The party was inspired by "kathedersocialisme", the progressive politics professed by latitudinarian preachers. It championed democratization of the political system by abolishing the Senate (the upper house of parliament) and the implementation of a referendum. It favoured the nationalization of crucial industries like the railways.


This table shows the League's results in elections to the House of Representatives and Senate, as well as the party's political leadership the fractievoorzitter, the chair of the parliamentary party.

Year HoR S Fractievoorzitter Cabinet
1893 1 0 Carel Gerritsen opposition
1894 3 0 Willem Treub opposition
1895 3 0 Willem Treub opposition
1896 3 0 Willem Treub opposition
1897 4 0 Willem Treub supports cabinet Pierson
1898 4 0 Willem Treub supports cabinet Pierson
1899 4 0 Willem Treub supports cabinet Pierson
1900 4 0 Willem Treub supports cabinet Pierson

Local government

The party was particularly strong in Amsterdam. Treub was alderman there.


The League's electorate centered on Amsterdam, where intellectuals, journalists, teachers and educated workers supported the party.


The small and localized Radical League lacked a system of pillarized organisations around it. The weekly magazine "De Amsterdammer" ("The Amsterdammer") sympathized with the party however.

See also

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